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How Can Peanut Butter Help Lead to Media Coverage? Unique Content Ideas for Authors

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Hello and welcome to our list of March observances and unique content ideas for your monthly author marketing plan.

Without a regular connection to readers, you’re just another book on the shelf. Take the time to make yourself stand out by using our monthly observances and tips to create interesting content with your own unique twist.

This is part of building your brand!

Timely content that uses popular and trending search terms and hashtags is a great way to enhance your visibility and improve SEO in a very simple way.

And what’s really key: content ideas don’t always have to stem from your genre or topic.

When it comes to author marketing and building a brand, ensuring that your fans and followers have ways to connect with you on a more personal level is as powerful as speaking about your genre and topic.

How to Use My Content Ideas

Below are holidays and just plain wacky and fun March Observances for 2021.

I’ve also included a few content ideas and angles to help spark your creativity!

Not all of these are worth an entire blog post or article, but nearly all of them can be turned into a fun or thought-provoking social media post or blurb in your newsletter – so it’s like getting triple the ideas!

There are always a lot of holidays around food, drink, and cooking, so get ready to share recipes or tag local fave establishments and ask followers to share theirs. The same goes for activities: this is a great chance to take selfies and/or to share a bit about yourself outside of being a writer.

These also open up opportunities for you to make recommendations for products – no, not official ads, but again, people love to follow someone who’s a great resource. Think outside the box to come up with ways you can help people out and make their lives easier or more exciting.

Keep in mind: ALL of your posts should encourage your fans and followers to respond, chime in, share their feedback, insight, stories, etc. Don’t forget to work that angle: let them know you want to hear from them!

Also remember: your goal is to encourage engagement – never post flat content; be creative with how you pull others into the conversation and offer ways for them to easily engage.

If you feel a little guilty about the lack of promotion planning you’ve done so far in 2021, use this list as a productive kick in the rear. Commit to writing some form of content every day and use it on social, for your blog, in your newsletter – get creative!

Giving yourself a bar to reach is the first step to upping your game.

Kick off a great year of book marketing and promotion by grabbing our Monthly Book Marketing Planner from the Free Resources and Downloads section at the end of this post.

Do polls, giveaways, fan art contests: remember to make it about your readers – not about you – and you’re guaranteed to see better engagement.

If you need some additional support on how to translate these ideas into actual content and posts, consider signing up for email coaching with me and we’ll get personal! 

Getting Started with Content Ideas

Check out these month long observances. Several offer opportunities to support a cause close to your heart by sharing stories, raising awareness, and/or giving your followers ways to donate money, time, and love to your favorite issues.

Paws to Read Month Take time this month to showcase any furry, four-legged characters you may have in your books. Try doing a photo shoot of your book with your dog or cat or encourage your readers to get a picture reading with their pets and tag you on social media. 

National Women’s History Month Talk about a woman in history that has inspired you to get where you are today. 

Music in Our Schools Month

National Celery Month

National Craft Month – Get creative with this one. Share some of your favorite crafting projects that you have seen or done yourself. 

National Frozen Food Month

National Irish American Heritage Month

National Nutrition Month

National Peanut Month – This would make a great topic for a good recipe!

Red Cross Month

Social Workers Month

Multi-Day Celebrations

First Full Week of March Read an ebook week – This is what you are here for! Do some shameless self-promotion. It would also be a great time to run a promo on your book. 

2nd Week – National Bubble Week 

2nd Week – Crochet Week – This lines up great with National Craft Month. If crocheting is a hobby of yours, share some of your favorite projects.  

March 1 – March 7 – Will Eisner Week – This is a celebration that promotes comics, graphic novel literacy, free speech, and the work of artist Will Eisner. Share stories about some of your favorites. 

March 14 – March 23 – World FolkTales and Fables Week   

Stay with me here: the best book marketing campaigns include social media AND it is also true that social media doesn’t sell books. Wait, what? Isn’t that a contradiction? You’d think so but here’s the thing: social media is an important key to exposure, and exposure sells books. Let me rephrase that: the right kind of social media sells books. Which is why I always say it’s not about being everywhere, but everywhere that matters. There are a lot of different angles to consider with social media platforms, and you can get deep into which platform is best for your purposes as well as all kinds of analytics that can guide when and where you post. These are all worthy topics for advanced study. Today we’re going back to basics as we consider the best book marketing campaign for you. Today’s post, in fact, is all about helping you answer a question many authors struggle with: what the heck am I supposed to post? Authors often hop on social media sites without any idea of the demographic of the platform’s users, with no knowledge of their own reader demographic, and without the faintest idea of what to say – and then they wonder why social media doesn’t seem to be working for them. That is not the right way to approach social for your best possible book marketing campaign; not only is it wrong, but that approach will cost you a bunch of time and effort that you literally will never get back. Where Does Your Message Live on Social? Most of the time, social media frustration stems from authors struggling with the content they feel they should be posting. In response to the feeling that they should be active on social media, they post something that’s not really relevant to their audience, though maybe it’s top of mind. But the problem actually starts earlier than that because more often than not, authors are on the wrong social media site to begin with. I’m including a link to a social media quiz you can take, to determine the best site for you (see the Resources section below). And if you take the quiz and you’re sitting here thinking “Well great, I’m on all the wrong social media sites, what do I do now?” My answer is: close down what you don’t need. If you keep the account, you’ll be tempted to update it, and that’s not a good use of your time. If you keep the account and don’t update it, it looks like you’ve abandoned your own party, and that’s not a good look either. Creating a Rockin’ Social Media Presence It’s fair to say that each social media site has its own particular “needs” – LinkedIn, for example, is different than Facebook, which is different from Instagram or Twitter. But regardless of where you’re going to spend your time, you’ll want to make sure to do a little bit of prep work before you start posting. Authors with the best book marketing campaigns work on identifying the talking points that will work best for them and for their books. To make this easy, I recommend you find three or four tracks you will speak to. These “tracks” are the conversation funnels you share on social, and the reason I like to limit those tracks is that a narrower course makes it easier for you to figure out what to say and/or share. Generally what happens is authors hop onto social and share whatever comes to mind, which creates a somewhat erratic presence and, invariably, lowers your engagement. What you’re attempting to do here is set your reader expectations by pre-plotting your pathways and the things you share. This doesn’t mean that you’re always tied to just four talking points, but to get started and kick this into high gear, you’re better off staying on track. And, by staying consistent to your messaging and your posting topics and schedule, you’ll build a reader/follower base much more quickly than you would if you just got onto social media in a haphazard way or if you posted too much one day and then nothing at all for a week. Most of what happens on social media falls into one of those two scenarios. So what does this look like in the best book marketing campaigns? Let’s say you’ve written a diet and health book; your tracks might look like this: • Latest health news • Quick daily health tip • Exciting news about your book • Motivational quote around health/wellness/diet If you’ve written a fiction book, let’s say a Sci-Fi novel, your tracks might look like this: • Fun science fiction did-you-know • Throwback to old Sci-Fi novels, shows, or films • Exciting news about your book • Book research you’re doing for future books OR • Some insight into your life: where you write, the playlist you listen to when you write, etc. OR • Your hobbies and what you love to do besides writing We worked with an author who set one of her romance novels in a small town, so she shared recipes from the various restaurants and coffee shops she wrote about, and readers really enjoyed this creative twist. She tried to create an immersive experience because she knew that was what her readers really cared about. So, along those lines you could share cocktail recipes or anything that tethers to the world you’ve created. Here are some other ideas: • Get your followers’ help in naming a pet in your next book. • Even better, get their help naming a character! • Ask questions to get to know your followers better; people love it when you ask about hobbies or movies they love. • Talk about things you like besides books. • Make yourself unique. • Share things that are specific to your genre – for example, if you wrote a book on vampires, you could create a meme with four famous movie vampires and ask readers to pick their favorite. • Celebrate your favorite comfort food or something else that dials into your topic. The idea is to find where readers want to engage – meaning posts that will (in the words of Marie Condo) spark joy with your followers. This may take a while. Start with your three or four discussion tracks but know that you may need to play around a bit and further refine them. The Best Book Marketing Campaigns Create Connections Readers love getting to know the authors of the books they read and love. Often, authors post on social and then wait for folks to engage with them, and yes, a bit of that approach can be part of your social platform mix. But also know that the degree to which you are connected to your posts matters, and it matters a lot. If you’re posting and ditching, you won’t get good engagement – ever. After you post, you need to check back to see if anyone responded; sometimes it just takes one person response, followed by your own, to get the comments rolling. Humans desire social approval; we love to express ourselves on social media in the hope of getting affirmative feedback. Likes and shares give our brains a surefire dopamine rush. We also love contributing and having our opinions heard – keep this in mind even if you’re just posting something funny. For example, I do a lot of “caption this” posts to spark communication. Some of them do really well, garnering upwards of 150 comments, while others only get 20 or so comments. Regardless of how many responses I get, I make sure to acknowledge every single one. People love it when you take the time to get to know them, when you’re really interested and willing to take the time to connect. Inviting followers to share their hobbies and then responding – or even just giving their content a thumbs up – can go a long way in developing reader relationships. Another driver of engagement is nostalgia, though you need to know your audience well enough to make it work for you. Someone who grew up in the 1990s won’t necessarily feel nostalgic for the same post as someone who grew up in the 1970s. People also love humor, especially now. So posting funny things might be one of your tracks. As I said before, you’re going to want to play around with this a bit until you find the right mix. Branded Images The best book marketing campaigns use images that are consistent in color, font, and message. You may share a meme that’s not specifically branded to you, which is fine. But the majority of your images should be consistent with your brand as this helps to create a visual recognition; readers see something and say, “Oh that looks like [insert author name]!” You can create branded images using an online service like Canva. In fact, for AME’s blog images (which get shared on social), we create a series of templates so that we can swap images in and out, but the standard font, spacing, and URL stay the same. Canva is an easy way to quickly create content, too. Create a Posting Calendar The best book marketing campaigns rely on planning. Not everything you do has to be planned ahead of time, but keeping up with your social media obligations will be a lot easier – and quicker! – if you create a posting calendar so you know what you’re sharing and when. Once your plans are in place, you might also spend some time creating images ahead of your posting dates and then scheduling them to post. This allows you to really focus on marketing strategies like book giveaways so you aren’t caught off guard when your chosen date crops up. Staying the Course Social media takes time. You’ll try something and succeed, then try something else and fail. This is how you learn what resonates with your audience, and what does not. Before long, you’ll start to see why social media plays such an important role in the best book marketing campaigns. And you might even start to discover some real joy along the way! Resources and Free Downloads Canva Monthly Book Marketing Planner Book Marketing Kickstart Package QUIZ: How to Market Your Book on Social Media

Daily Observations for March

March 1

National Pig Day

Peace Corps Day

Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day

Plan a Solo Vacation Day – Given that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, maybe you can write about a vacation day for one of your characters. Try to do something fun and invite your readers to partake in it. Would they want to visit one of your fictional worlds for a vacation day?

World Compliment Day – This is a great way to encourage positive engagement. Make a post encouraging your followers to leave a compliment for someone in their life. 

March 2

Read Across America Day – Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! 

Old Stuff Day

March 3

Caregiver Appreciation Day

I Want You to be Happy Day – Make your followers happy and share a glimpse of what you are currently working on. 

If Pets Had Thumbs Day – You can do a day in the life of your pet on your social media. Let your followers know what it is like to be the pet of a writer.   

National Anthem Day

Peach Blossom Day

March 4

National Grammar Day

Captain Underpants Day – Happy Birthday Dave Pilkey! If you have younger kids in your life, there is a good chance you are familiar with his work. 

Holy Experiment Day

Hug a GI Day

March 5

Employee Appreciation Day 

Multiple Personality Day

National Salesperson Day 

World Day of Prayer

March 6

Dentist’s Day – This would be a fun one to celebrate if you have a character that is a dentist. Put on a small celebration to acknowledge them and invite your readers to join in. 

National Frozen Food Day

March 7

Namesake Day – Have some fun with this. Talk a bit about your process and how you come up with your character names. Discuss if any of the names have a special meaning to you. Maybe even hold a contest to allow a follower to name a future character. 

National Cereal Day

March 8

National Proofreading Day – Take a moment to acknowledge your proofreader and thank them for the extra set of eyes they offer. 

International (Working) Women’s Day

March 9

Panic Day

March 10

International Day of Awesomeness

International Find a Pay Phone Booth Day

Middle Name Pride Day – Share your middle name and see if you have readers that have the same. Do you give your characters a middle name? Even if they are not prominent in your books, you can share them today as a special bonus. 

March 11

Johnny Appleseed Day

Popcorn Lover’s Day 

March 12

Girl Scouts Day 

Plant a Flower Day

March 13

Ear Muff Day

Genealogy Day – This would be a great day to explain relationships if you have an interconnected series or a large family tree written into your books. Make up a family tree for your readers to use and refer back to. 

International Fanny Pack Day 

Jewel Day

Smart & Sexy Day 

March 14

Learn about Butterflies Day

National Potato Chip Day

National Pi Day 

March 15

Everything You Think is Wrong Day – We have talked before about saving work you don’t use. That would be a fun bonus to share today with some background as to why you didn’t think it worked and what you did to fix it. 

Ides of March

March 16

Everything You Do is Right Day – Have you ever written a scene that just flowed effortless and was great from the start? Share that with your readers and get their reaction. 

Freedom of Information Day

Giant Panda Bear Day

Tea for Two Tuesday 

March 17

Saint Patrick’s Day

Corned Beef and Cabbage Day

Submarine Day 

March 18

Absolutely Incredible Kid Day 

Awkward Moments Day – What a better way to connect with your followers than to share a story of an awkward moment you experienced. 

March 19

Poultry Day

March 20

Extraterrestrial Abductions Day – You could have all kinds of fun with this if you write paranormal. Get your readers involved and find out what their reactions would be. 

International Day of Happiness – I think this is something we can all get onboard with. Share something that makes you happy and invite your followers to join in on the discussion. 

International Earth Day

International Sports Car Racing Day 

National Quilting Day 

Proposal Day  

Spring (Vernal) Equinox 

World Sparrow Day  

March 21

Credit Card Reduction Day

Fragrance Day

World Poetry Day – Do you write poetry or include it in any of your books? Utilize today to showcase it. 

March 22

National Goof Off Day – I think a lot of us could enjoy celebrating this one. Can it last more than one day?

March 23

Melba Toast Day

National Chip and Dip Day

National / World Agriculture Day 

National Puppy Day – Share about your puppy or even when your dog was small. Sharing some personal details, even the small ones, help to make stronger connections with your readers. 

Near Miss Day

March 24

National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

March 25

Feast of the Annunciation

Pecan Day – This is another great day to share a recipe or even your favorite pecan food or dish. 

Waffle Day

March 26

Live Long and Prosper Day

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day  – This would be a good one for fantasy authors. Have you made up a holiday in your stories? Declare it today and invite your readers to celebrate with you. 

National Spinach Day

March 27

National “Joe” Day

Passover begins at sundown  

March 28

Palm Sunday  

Something on a Stick Day

Weed Appreciation Day

March 29

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

Smoke and Mirrors Day

March 30

I am in Control Day

National Doctor’s Day – Another great opportunity for a character spotlight, if you have one that is a doctor. Let them send out a note in your newsletter thanking followers for their support.  

Take a Walk in the Park Day

Turkey Neck Soup Day

March 31

Bunsen Burner Day

National Clam on the Half Shell Day

National Crayon Day – Make a coloring page to go with your book for readers to print and color. This would be something great for a children’s book but even adults might like something fun and book related. 

World Backup Day

The Takeaway

Remember, being an author demands creativity, and it also demands authenticity.

Coming up with unique content ideas for authors as part of your marketing plan is a great way to take your success seriously, without taking yourself too seriously! And these March observances should really help.

Resources and Free Downloads

Monthly Book Marketing Planner

How Can I Sell More Books

5 Simple Tips for Creating Video Content for Social Media

Ideas for Irresistible Bonus Content & Giveaways

Jane Friedman: Reporting and Consulting on the Publishing Industry

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